Clinton responds to ‘Path to 9/11’, rips Fox News
Friday September 29th 2006, 6:37 pm

Bill Clinton appeared on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace- and proceeded to kick ass and take names.

The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart sums up the right-wing media response to Clinton’s righteous rage:

Bring Back Bill!


MORE: See Keith Olbermann’s left-handed whipsong.


Aboriginals in Queensland: Singing one day, bashed to death by police the next
Friday September 29th 2006, 10:27 am

Queensland Police Senior Sergeant Chris Hurley (image: ABC TV)At 11:20am on 19 November 2004, a 36 year old Palm Island Aboriginal man died in the custody of Queensland Police. Only an hour before, the man had been very much alive, walking about and singing.

Known after death per Aboriginal custom as ‘Mulrunji,’ the man had been arrested for swearing at police, purportedly while he was intoxicated, and was taken to the Palm Island police watchhouse.

Witnesses who were being held in the watchhouse at the time said Mulrunji cried out for help while they observed him being savagely bashed by Queensland Police Senior Sergeant Chris Hurley.

No shit, Sherlock
Thursday September 28th 2006, 9:57 am

image: Michael Leunig for The Age
Michael Leunig for The Age

WaPo: 16 US spy agencies say Iraq war has become a “cause celebre” for Islamic extremists

ABC: US report ‘devastates’ Howard’s credibility

ABC: Kim Beazley said:

“For Australia it’s the wrong war in the wrong place and what we need now to do is change strategy, and focus on the area where we add most value – that’s here in South-East Asia.”

Reuters: Bush on defensive over intelligence report

Clay Bennett for the Christian Science Monitor
Clay Bennett for the Christian Science Monitor


ADF gets $500million worth of 2nd hand 68-tonne boat anchors
Saturday September 23rd 2006, 12:28 pm

and if you ACT NOW we'll throw in a Collins class sub!

The ADF purchase of 59 refurbished 1989 model M1A1 Abrams battle tanks signals longer term cooperation with the US military due to insufficient Australian transportation capacities to move the massive tanks.

The ADF lacks any landing craft capable of carrying even one of the 68 tonne jet-engined M1A1 Abrams tanks. Even transporting the tanks from their port of entry at Melbourne to their intended station at Darwin is problematic.

Freightlink requires new rolling stock to handle the tanks by rail. Road transport is out; road bridges in the NT are only rated for 50 tonnes. The only way to move the behemoths is to load them on a freighter and unload them at a port.

There will be no amphibious landings; if ADF needs to use the Abrams outside of Australia, they’ll either have to pay a merchant ship to take them to a port in the war zone… or hitch a ride with Uncle Sam.

Mark Dodd reports in The Australian:

Army mechanics will be kept busy if the US army experience is any guide. It allocates 25 per cent of its maintenance budget for ground combat systems to fixing Abrams gas turbine engines.

Don’t we have quite enough old American junk?

I can’t find any mention of Australian forces using main battle tanks at all since 1945.

At least Australia has a great place to store them.


The hidden message
Saturday September 23rd 2006, 11:03 am

the message within the message

Same shit, different day.


MORE: See Surfdom for as incisive an analysis as you’ll get.

ABC out on the grass
Wednesday September 20th 2006, 8:50 pm

ABC staffers are going on strike tomorrow for fair pay.

The CPSU says:

ABC: ABC staff take a stand – 24 hour strike on Thursday 21 September
20 September 2006

After 10 months of negotiations with ABC management – and 10 years of bullying and underfunding from the Federal Government – ABC staff will take strike action on Thursday 21 September in support of a better workplace agreement. The action is being taken by both ABC unions: the CPSU and the Media Alliance.

Send a message of support:
Let ABC staff know you’re on their side

Could Honest John both deny their wage claims and hit these ABC workers and their families for $20,000 fines, like the Perth 107?

Probably a fun day to listen live, but true ABC addicts can rely on podcasts for a day!*

Your ABC and your rights at work have been all but gutted by John Howard.

Make sure you properly thank him at the polls in 2007.


* You could have relied on podcasts you had banked up that you hadn’t yet listened to, but this is what you got when trying to download Dr Karl on Aunty’s Day Off!

Diebold voting machine opens with $8 mini-bar key
Tuesday September 19th 2006, 4:38 pm

Earlier this week, Ed Felten and J. Alex Halderman of Princeton University’s Information Technology Policy Department and of the Freedom to Tinker blog, revealed how to hack a Diebold ‘AccuVote’ touchscreen voting machine, untraceably falsifying election results with malicious code.

Today, Felten and Halderman really put in the boot.

Diebold maintains that there is a locked cover on the memory card port of the AccuVote TS to prevent tampering.

True. There’s definitely a lock.

all the security of a mini-bar

However, the lock employed is a common hardware grade type, used on hotel mini-bars and filing cabinets. Replacement key copies to fit the Diebold can be ordered from office supply stores for about $8 per key, simply by quoting the number stamped on the face of lock. The Princeton video also showed that a key wasn’t always necessary as one member of the Princeton team could consistently pick the lock in under 10 seconds anyway.

Ed Felten comments:

Using such a standard key doesnít provide much security, but it does allow Diebold to assert that their design uses a lock and key. Experts will recognize the same problem in Dieboldís use of encryption ó they can say they use encryption, but they use it in a way that neutralizes its security benefits.

The bad guys donít care whether you use encryption; they care whether they can read and modify your data. They donít care whether your door has a lock on it; they care whether they can get it open. The checkbox approach to security works in press releases, but it doesnít work in the field.

Waiting for Diebold’s reply… and for a number of states to ban machines as easily exploitable as this one.

It’s not the people who vote that count… it’s the people who count the votes.

-(allegedly) Joseph Stalin


Protesters in the USA? Microwave ’em, says US Air Force chief
Sunday September 17th 2006, 11:41 am

Air Force chief wants medium-rare dissentersDirected energy weapons (DEWs) are effectively high-power microwave ovens with the safety shielding removed and an antenna attached to concentrate the cooking waves into a nearby human target.

Secretary of the US Air Force, Michael Wynne, suggests DEWs should be tried out on domestic protesters:

“If we’re not willing to use it here against our fellow citizens, then we should not be willing to use it in a wartime situation,” said Wynne. “(Because) if I hit somebody with a nonlethal weapon and they claim that it injured them in a way that was not intended, I think that I would be vilified in the world press.”

…as if suggesting using DEWs on US citizens in country won’t attract a bit of vilification!

Victims of DEWs will not only suffer intense burning pain just when standing in the beam of a transmitting DEW. Ocular, nerve and reproductive tissues are highly sensitive to temperature. Microwave ovens work by vibrating water molecules, inducing thermal energy into the water and surrounding matter. People exposed to DEWS quite possibly could be paralysed, rendered reproductively sterile and blinded.

I’ve written about DEWs a couple of times in the past, but this is the first time any US official has suggested using them on their own citizens.


Will Secretary Wynne volunteer to try out the non-lethal claim of DEWs?

Not going to chug Jack Daniels waiting for Wynne’s hand to go up.


I am a migrant to Australia and I refuse to integrate
Saturday September 16th 2006, 11:02 pm

How to be an Aussie?!I’m within a couple of weeks of having been in Australia 10 years. That’s 22.7% of my life. C’mon, Johnny, ain’t that enough?!

Little Johnny can’t make me like cricket… and the only way he’d get me to watch any on tele is under general anaesthesia.

Mind you, watching cricket completely obviates the need for drugs to accomplish a semi-comatose, catatonic state. Cricket is like baseball on valium.

I rather think of cricket as being the sport of formerly conquered nations… and those who inexplicably yet like to suck up to the Brits.

If Dr Shane bloody Warne is supposed to be my idol, Little Johnny can come get my Aussie passport right this instant.

As usual, the Howard Government is barking up the wrong tree. There’s been a hell of a lot more violence and hate speech against Muslims in Australia than that perpetrated by them.

It’s just not cricket, Johnny.


How to hack a Diebold ‘AccuVote,’ by Princeton U
Friday September 15th 2006, 7:18 pm

PWN3D by H4XxoRs!Princeton University’s Information Technology Policy department has demonstrated that it is possible to hack a Diebold AccuVote TouchScreen voting machine, causing it to display a predetermined winner, leaving no trace of malicious software. Watch the video.

Diebold maintains that ‘election procedures’ would make the Princeton hack impossible in a real election setting.

However, US elections are not run by neutral poll staff nor are tabulated by an independent body such as the AEC in Australia; virus transmitted by moving memory card from infected to uninfected machinesthe polls are run by members of the Republican and Democrat parties. If the machine is hackable, there’s no assurance that it won’t be hacked, as long as partisans are in charge of the polls. It’s a piss-poor design if it relies on everyone’s honesty and good intentions.

Diebold also claims that the virus Princeton created could not spread as the machines are never connected by a network, despite Princeton’s demonstration of the ‘sneakernet’ method of spreading the virus by simply transferring a memory card from one machine to another- no network required.

See Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s article in Rolling Stone, “Was the 2004 Election Stolen?

There’s been some recent rumour of electronic voting machines being adopted in Australia. If we get them, they damned well better give a printed, traceable paper receipt as well as be demonstrably hackproof.